Another quake!

March 16 tremors shake buildings in the region

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

A few minutes before 9 on the morning of March 9, another earthquake shook the area. It was brief, but very noticeable. About 10 minutes later an aftershock – just as strong and maybe even a bit stronger – did the same thing.

Strong earthquakes in this part of the world are unusual. Two within four months of each other is pretty much unheard of, although small, unnoticed (by most people, at least) ones are apparently quite common.

According to Earthquakes Canada, the March 16 quake’s centre was southeast of Peace River and was recorded at 5.0 on the Richter Scale. That’s almost exactly where the Nov. 29 quake was, which was also felt in the Slave Lake area. That one was 5. 3 on the Richter (5.8 in earlier reports).

The March 16 tremors were just as strong as those on Nov. 29, but did not last as long. Or so it seemed at the Lakeside Leader location, in downtown Slave Lake.

Chris Clegg, the editor of the South Peace News in High Prairie, said he didn’t feel the first one at all, but did feel the second at the News office. By then he’d already received a call from somebody in Peavine, north of High Prairie. It would have been quite strong there.

Peavine is only about 20 kilometres from the epicentre. estimates the quake happened 10 kilometres below the surface. It eventually reported three tremors: one at 8:46 a.m., one at 8:59 a.m. and the third at 9:07 a.m.

The following originally appeared in a Dec. 5 2022 Lakeside Leader article:

According to Joseph Farrugia of Natural Resources Canada, the Richter Scale measurement is not necessarily accurate, and may change. Alberta is more or less in the middle of a continental plate, Farrugia explained, so it’s not a case of plate edges rubbing against each other. But stress does build up and extend far into the middle of the North American Plate. When the stress exceeds the friction along fault lines, quakes happen. They’re called ‘intra-continental quakes,’ he said.

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